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U.S. News

New HIV Testing Practices Will Improve Screening and Early Diagnosis

September 17, 2010

A state law that took effect this month will make HIV testing more accessible and improve the linkage of HIV-positive people to care and treatment, health officials say. An estimated 20 percent of state residents with HIV do not know they are infected, and 33 percent of patients newly diagnosed with HIV progress to AIDS within one year.

"HIV/AIDS continues to be a major health concern for New Yorkers, and this important change in the law will make HIV testing more routine, while maintaining key patient privacy protections," said Dr. Richard F. Daines, state health commissioner.

Under the law:

  • Consent for HIV testing can be incorporated in general consent to medical care, although opt-out language for HIV testing must be included.
  • Consent can be given verbally and noted by the provider in the medical record.
  • Prior to testing consent, patients must be provided with information about HIV.
  • Providers who offer HIV testing must arrange an appointment for the care and treatment of patients with confirmed HIV-positive results, provided they consent.

In accordance with CDC's recommendations, New York's new law requires that voluntary opt-out testing be offered to all persons ages 13-64 who receive hospital or primary care services, with limited exceptions.

"We need to be working aggressively with all health care providers to ensure people who are infected are found early and offered the lifesaving treatments that are available," said Humberto Cruz, director of the state Department of Health's AIDS Institute.

For more information about the testing law, visit

Back to other news for September 2010

Adapted from:
Empire State News (Middleton)

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
HIV Testing Is Now a Routine Part of Health Care in New York
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More About HIV Testing in New York

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